The University of Alabama is one of twenty-seven urban journalism programs in the United States that will no longer use race as a criterion for enrollment under a settlement with a white high school student who was rejected by one of the programs.
Dow Jones Newspaper Fund and other principals agreed to the settlement in return for the Center for Individual Rights withdrawing its legal challenge of the programs.
In September, the center filed the class-action lawsuit on behalf of 16-year-old Emily Smith who said she was accepted last spring to the Urban Journalism Workshop at Virginia Commonwealth University. One week later, she said, she was rejected after program sponsors learned she was white.
Under terms of the settlement, neither V-C-U, Dow Jones nor any of the principals admitted to any wrongdoing. The school also agreed to pay $25,000 to Emily and her attorneys and admit her to the program next summer.